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May 3, 2010

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Bus horns drive residents crazy

PUDONG'S Lujiazui area is way too noisy, residents complain.

Expats living in Yanloard Garden on Puming Road say they have to put up with bus horns from 6am to 11pm every day, though traffic regulations forbid drivers to toot horns within the Outer Ring Road.

"While waiting for passengers at the bus station, drivers toot their horns constantly, " a reader named Ty Kuek wrote to Shanghai Daily.

"The noise is unbearable for people living in buildings close to the road," said another resident, who has lived in the community for 10 years. "The road used to be very quiet. But it's growing noisier with more and more bus terminals moving into the road."

Traffic and construction authorities say they are investigating.

Resident committee officials have talked with the bus companies, but to little effect.

"Bus drivers have agreed to sound the horn less," said Zhang Lingbao, a resident committee official, "but residents haven't found much improvement."

Bus operators claimed that it is almost impossible for vehicles to make their way out without blaring their horns in such a crowded bus terminal in the morning and evening rush hours.

The bus station opposite the neighborhood on Puming Road used to accommodate four bus lines. But another four bus stops relocated there from the nearby Dongchang Road Ferry earlier this year.

Many other vehicles and coach buses heading to the Dongchang Road Watergate also take the road.

"We have asked drivers not to blow their horns unless it's necessary," said Wang Zongming, an official in charge of security in the bus station.

"But buses often jam both the entrance and exit of the five-lane parking lot during the rush hours," he said. "They have to toot the horns to get out of the station, as drivers are in such a hurry to keep to schedule."

After receiving residents' complaints, Pudong traffic authorities said they would visit the site and adjust the bus routes if necessary.

Meanwhile, traffic police also pledged to crack down on illegal honking by bus drivers, which carries a fine of 200 yuan (US$29).


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